Date of this Version
The Leading Economic Indicator, July 19, 2013
The Leading Economic Indicator – Nebraska (LEI-N) rose by 0.87% during June 2013. The increase in the LEI-N, which predicts economic growth in the state six months in the future, follows a small increase in May. Taken together, results for the two months suggest moderate economic growth in Nebraska at the end of 2013. Such moderate expectations are particularly appropriate because improvement in the LEI-N during June was not broad-based. Looking at individual components of the LEI-N, only two of the six components rose during June, three declined and one was unchanged. Single-family building permits rose during June. But the primary reason for the improvement in the LEI-N was a sharp decline in initial unemployment insurance claims during the month, which is a positive signal for the job market and the economy. Among declining components, airline passengers and manufacturing hours both declined modestly during June. Further, the value of the U.S. dollar rose during June, which is negative for businesses that export. Finally, business expectations were neutral during June. Respondents to the Survey of Nebraska Business were as likely to project a decrease in sales and employment at their business over the next six month as they were to project an increase.